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HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1973 Oldsmobile Omega, badge engineering at its best

Pick of the Day: 1973 Oldsmobile Omega, badge engineering at its best

A premium rendition of the Chevy Nova, this V8-powered example appears quite presentable

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For decades, badge engineering has been a popular way for automakers to maximize the versatility and value of any given chassis or platform.  The Pick of the Day is a perfect example of a car that applied a new narrative to an existing platform:  a 1973 Oldsmobile Omega that shares underpinnings – and a whole lot more – with the Chevrolet Nova.

This Omega two-door sports coupe comes in a coat of red paint that is color-matched to the wheels, and features such niceties as a vinyl roof and dual exhaust outlets, according the private seller in Manheim, Pennsylvania, advertising the Olds on ClassicCars.com.  

omega, Pick of the Day: 1973 Oldsmobile Omega, badge engineering at its best, ClassicCars.com Journal

The interior is equally presentable in two-tone white vinyl and houndstooth cloth for both the front and rear benches.  The listing conveys that the car drives as well as it looks: “Runs great, sounds great, drives straight, looks good.”

The Oldsmobile brand was dissolved by General Motors in 2004, but in the 1970s, Olds was on a roll with such high-performing hits as the 442 muscle car. The Omega, which debuted in 1973, was considered a compact entry and one of four models in separate GM divisions based on the X-body platform, including the Nova, Buick Apollo and Pontiac Ventura.

omega

While the silhouettes and underpinnings of each car mirrored each other, distinctions were applied to the exterior styling, interior appointments and the drivetrain options.  

During its first generation, the Omega slotted just above the Nova in the GM hierarchy.  Omega body styles included a two-door coupe, three-door hatchback and four-door sedan.  The nose featured a “split waterfall” design and a unique layout for the headlights and marker lights. Woodgrain interior trim was another way the Omega set itself apart from the lower-priced Nova. 

omega

Under the hood, two powerplants were available for the first-generation Omega:  A 250cid inline-6 and a 350cid Rocket V8.  Power for this Omega comes from the latter, and the seller believes the engine received upgrades under prior ownership – among them, a performance camshaft.  

omega, Pick of the Day: 1973 Oldsmobile Omega, badge engineering at its best, ClassicCars.com Journal

If Omega means “end,” then could this 1973 Omega – from the first model year of production – be the beginning of the end?  Or the end of the beginning?  Either way, it looks to be a nice example of a car that’s likely rarer today than the run-of-the-mill Nova.

The seller is asking $14,900.  To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Hagerty
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Omega went on to become the second front wheel car offered by Oldsmobile which shared its underpinnings with the Chevrolet Citation.. It was an affordable alternative to the Tornado’s front wheel drive.

  2. I had a new 73 Biuick Apollo hatchback with the v8, ps, pb, a/c – a leftover 73 after the 74’s had come out. My first new car ever! 350 v8 so detuned it may as well have been the 6!

  3. I had a 73′ Omega that I bought used around 75′-76′.with high mileage. Great car. It was a beautiful burnt gold/orange with the color keyed wheels and a medium brown vinyl top, Got a lot of compliments , looked sharp and had the Old’s 350, NOT a “corporate” (Chevy) 350. They were detuned by then and you noticed it but it was still a pretty good car for the time.

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